The National Center for Healthy Housing & the National Environmental Health Association Announce Nation’s First Healthy Homes Specialist Credential
With children spending more than 90% of time indoors, the home environment is one of the top places where they can be exposed to health and safety hazards. To protect their families, parents and caregivers are increasingly seeking advice and help in identifying and addressing hazards in and around the home.
Until now, there has not been a trained workforce dedicated to addressing healthy homes issues. To fill the training and education gap, the National Center for Healthy Housing (NCHH) and the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) created the Healthy Homes Specialist Credential and welcomes InterNACHI members’ participation. The first and only credential of its kind, the *Healthy Homes Specialist *Credential signifies that an individual has achieved a high level of education and that his/her proficiency and accuracy in healthy homes have been validated.
“Realtors, home inspectors, energy auditors, pest management professionals, and others can save lives if they are armed with greater awareness of hazards in the home environment. This Credential provides an outstanding marketing opportunity for these professionals and more importantly enables families to access qualified professionals to help them assess hazards in their homes,” said Rebecca Morley, Executive Director of the National Center for Healthy Housing.
Nelson Fabian, NEHA’s Executive Director and CEO, stated “The home is where we live. There is no environment that is more important. By advancing our ability to understand what it takes to create a healthy home, this credential truly pushes progress in the direction of providing increasing numbers of people with a safe and healthful environment.”
Homes should be safe havens for families. Sadly, it is the place where children are most likely to be injured or become ill. Each year, 13.5 million non-fatal injuries occur in and around the home in the United States; 2,900 people die in house fires; and two million people make emergency room visits for asthma. Over 250,000 young children in the United States have blood lead levels above CDC’s current level of concern and even more have exposures high enough to adversely affect their intelligence, behavior, and development.
To achieve the credential, individuals must complete a comprehensive exam on the seven principles of healthy housing, which include keeping homes: Dry, Clean, Pest-Free, Contaminant-Free, Ventilated, Safe, and Maintained. Individuals seeking the Healthy Homes Specialist credential must:
- Be at least 21 years of age;
- Have five years of experience in housing, environmental health or public health;
- Achieve a minimum score of 70 percent on the qualifying examination; and
- Successfully complete an on-line home assessment exercise.
Private Sector Professionals who may be interested in the Healthy Homes Specialist credential may include:
Ø Lead risk assessors, radon measurement professionals and mold professionals.
Ø Pest management professionals
Ø Certified home inspectors
To learn more about the Healthy Homes Specialist credential, please visit: http://www.healthyhomestraining.org/Credential/index.htm or http://www.neha.org/credential/HHS/index.htm.
*NCHH is the only national non-profit organization dedicated to developing and promoting practical measures to protect children from residential environmental hazards while preserving affordable housing. NCHH develops scientifically valid and practical strategies to make homes safe from hazards, to alert low- income families about housing-related health risks, and to help them protect their children. *
*NEHA is a non-profit professional membership association serving the environmental health and protection professionals in government, industry and the private sector. Its mission is to advance the environmental health and protection professional for the purpose of providing a healthful environment for all. NEHA accomplishes its mission by providing information, networking, education, credentialing, research and development and advocacy. With nearly 80 years of experience providing credentials for environmental health, NEHA is pleased to be a part of the development and promotion of the new Healthy Homes Specialist credential. *